The preview release of Sway, Microsoft’s web-based presentation app, has been available by invite since autumn of last year, and more recently was opened up to anyone wishing to sign up. Now Microsoft has announced that it is enabling the preview for schools and businesses with Office 365 licenses whose administrators have enrolled their organization in the First Release program. Additionally, Sway’s availability has been expanded to speakers of Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Sway itself has also been updated with several new features. Wikipedia integration is here with “snippets”, which draws from the information found in an article’s infobox. These snippets appear in the Suggested search results, and complement other content sources like the new Flickr option and previously-added ones such as YouTube and Bing Image Search. One new organizational element, the Grid Card, has been added as well. This lets users group images, videos, and text together, with the aim of keeping them “visually consistent with each other.”
Microsoft has been reinventing itself over the past year, not only by releasing the acclaimed Office apps for iOS, but also through acquisitions of smaller companies and the introduction of brand new apps like Sway.